Something that distinguishes Goth Babe apart from his indie contemporaries isn't only the edgy and atmospheric aesthetic found throughout his catalog... But it's also the lifestyle which he leads. Before he settled in the mountains of Washington, he spent a great deal of time car camping whilst extensively exploring the outdoors with his dog 'Saddie'.
Now hows this relevant you ask? This denouncement of social status and relevance manifests a compelling kind of authenticity in his lyricism and production style. "Sometimes", the 2018 Bedrooom Pop hit was my gateway into Goth Babe, although as time progressed we started to experience more of an electronic side from the artist as he refuses to be pigeon-holed in a category. His latest EP North Coast is a great example of this, and in this interview, we chat with Griff Washburn (Goth Babe) about its inception, how his lifestyle impacts the creative process, spirituality, and much more.
If somebody walked into your room when you were a teenager, what kind of vinyls/CDs/cassettes and posters would they find lying in the room?
Ty segall, The Oh Sees, Black Lips, Dr. Dog, and Dan Deacon
What kind of work were you involved in before you started Goth Babe? And how would you describe the journey into becoming a full-time artist?
I was in a folk band, started playing solo blues music, and later surf punk around Memphis, TN until I started Fuzz Ghost, which would later become Goth Babe, in Nashville.
How does the name 'Goth Babe' reflect the subject and the sound of your music?
The name Goth Babe is hilariously opposite to the music I make.
Do you feel as if the internet craze of Bedroom Pop contributed to your growing fan base? Is this a genre you’d like to be associated with?
I think so yes. I’m not opposed to flowing more into a different genre, but the genre world doesn’t really affect me too much luckily.
Anybody who has been following your works for a while I'm sure has the same question after listening to your latest EP North Coast... What inspired you to take on more of an electronic sound in your current works?
I’d say the electronic direction is just my personal journey of maturing as a musician. For me, electronic production is just a little bit more to bite into rather than the minimal instrumentation of bedroom pop. Keeps me from getting bored!
You've mentioned that the opening track "The Trees" is about growing a relationship with God. How has your faith shaped the kind of decisions you make in your music career and creative process?
My relationship with God has been a journey since I was a kid, but lately, it’s been more intentional. I’ve been trying my hardest lately to get myself as healthy as I can. Spiritually, mentally, physical... Working on my relationships with the people I love, as well as my presentation with strangers. I’d just like to be a good man.
The track which took the longest to produce on the EP and why?
The Trees. There were 40million instruments that needed tweaking!
In which ways do you think your songwriting process for North Coast has evolved from your previous EP Mt. Bachelor?
I think it’s more to bite into. It feels like it has more potential, and hopefully has more elements of things my fans like. I certainly feel as though it’s my strongest, most mature piece of work.
Why do all the names of your recent projects seem to have a geographical reference?
It’s an EP series, so they’re all somewhat connected. I wanted repetition and consistency with the series. I also have spent loads of time in each of these places, and they are very relevant in my life as I’m writing.
You release music on quite a regular basis, would you say that this is the result of ideas coming quickly and naturally to you, or rather a by-product of the kind of lifestyle you live?
I’d say it’s a bit of both. I have a lot of songs on stand by which is always nice, plus the weather isn’t ALWAYS good enough to enjoy the outdoors, so it gives me time to write!
On the subject of your lifestyle, what led you to 'camp your life away' and permanently relocate to the outdoors instead of living in a city/town?
I struggled to find joy when living in New York and later LA. I would constantly relocate to the beach any opportunity I had.
My dad also took me outside as much as he could. On top of this I am, and always have been, trash at video games, so I went outside instead ha!
It's great that you've shown support regarding matters of racial injustice. What are some of the best ways in your opinion that one could educate themselves on the nature of systemic injustice?
I would say step one is watching the film ‘13th’ on Netflix to better understand the oppression of black peoples in American History. And secondly I’d say if you have any POC friends or acquaintances, ask them to share their stories to help you better understand what’s really going on.
So… 1) An artist/band you would have a D.M.C (Deep Meaningful Conversion), 2) An artist/band you’d love to party with. 3) Artist/band you would like to be within the studio for a week.
The other two live members of Goth Babe;)